IPG Mediabrands names Fiona Johnston as UM CEO

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 31 July 2017
IPG Mediabrands CEO Danny Bass and new UM CEO Fiona Johnston.

IPG Mediabrands Australia has appointed Fiona Johnston as CEO of UM Australia. She will take over in October and replaces Ross Raeburn, who took the reins of Mediabrands' mobile marketing business Ansible this month.

Johnston has broad experience in the media and marketing space with senior management positions in executive consulting, media and creative agencies, including a senior executive role at MediaCom.

“Choosing a new leader for UM at such an important period in the media industry’s evolution is one of the most important appointments I have considered,” IPG Mediabrands CEO Danny Bass says.

“Fiona is a very rare executive in terms of her experience and achievements. Also, having worked alongside her previously, I am fully aware of Fiona’s expertise and commercial savvy. I am delighted she has agreed to lead UM Australia.”

Johnston is founder, executive consultant and coach in the Australian based business Wild and Safe, working with clients such as The Coca-Cola Company, eBay, the AFL and other media focused businesses. Her primary focus has been working with C-suite executives on career and company transition, leadership and corporate development initiatives.

Previously she was chief marketing and business development officer for MediaCom, helping drive the agency’s growth and annual business planning, including business development from new and existing clients.

She has also been managing partner of ad agency Publicis Mojo/Triangle, where she was hired to lead integrated business operations with a focus on agency culture, working efficiency and creativity. She also led the creativity agency Lowe Hunt & Draft.

Prior to moving to Australia, Johnston was a company board director and senior client ambassador for PepsiCo EMEA international creative agency Havas/Euro RSCG. She helped lead and reorganise PepsiCo’s international marketing development for the UK, US and EMEA and at that time was the youngest and only female on a board of six. 

“I am incredibly excited to lead the team at UM. I look forward to supporting some of the best in class talent and working with a great portfolio of clients and supporting media owners. It is an interesting time for our industry where our only constant is change, so navigating change with intelligence and speed is both a great challenge and opportunity,”Johnston says.

Bass will oversee UM in the interim period until handing over to Johnston on 9 October.

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